By Dan Margetta Slinger, Wis., July 19-Dennis Prunty and Steve Apel have been the story all season at the Slinger Super Speedway and Sunday night was no exception as they added yet another chapter to their battles with Prunty scoring the victory in the Pomp’s Tire 60-lap super late model feature after aggressively taking the lead from Apel with less than five laps to go.
“I know I touched him a little bit but we were racing hard for the win,” Prunty stated from victory lane afterwards describing the winning pass that rooted Apel out of the inside lane, “I love racing with Steve (Apel).”
“I’m disappointed because we came here to win,” Apel said following his second place finish after leading for most of the race, “when it’s this hot it’s hard, the tires get hot really quick and things start to go away. That’s twice now Dennis (Prunty) has passed me at the end.”
Rob Braun and Steve Apel led the field to the green flag and Apel eventually prevailed from the outside lane after several laps of side by side racing. Braun found himself in a battle for second with Conrad Morgan, John DeAngelis, and Tim Lampmann as Apel began to ease away slightly. The inside lane proved to be the quick way in the early going and DeAngelis, Morgan, Dan Church, and Dennis Prunty all used it to advance as Braun and Lampman fell back on the high side. Morgan than worked his way in to the inside of DeAngelis to take over second while Church filled the inside gap and raced door to door with DeAngelis for third while the leader Apel and second place Morgan drew farther ahead. This time it was DeAngelis’ turn to be caught on the outside and Church and Prunty raced by on the inside for third and fourth place. A lap later, Prunty made his way around Church for third using the high groove as Apel and Morgan enjoyed a comfortable margin out front. A half spin by Nick Wagner in turn two produced the first caution flag of the race on lap 36 with Apel leading Morgan, Prunty, DeAngelis, and Church. A lap after racing resumed the yellow flag waved again for a spin by Brian Holtz in turn two and the caution period proved to be beneficial to Morgan as he spun in between turns three and four but was allowed to maintain his position due to the caution flag already being displayed for Holtz’s incident. Apel chose the inside lane for the restart while Morgan picked the top groove and the choice proved to be detrimental to Morgan as he struggled a bit on the high side allowing Prunty and DeAngelis to race by. Morgan fell in line directly in front of Church in fourth and the two began to dispute the position while Prunty and DeAngelis tried to track down Apel in the lead. As Church and Morgan battled into turn one on lap 40, contact between Church’s right front corner and Morgan’s left rear corner sent Morgan’s car spinning off turn two as the yellow flag waved for a third time. Church and Morgan were sent to the rear of the field for their involvement in the incident as Tim Lampman and Dale Prunty moved into fourth and fifth respectively behind Apel, Dennis Prunty, and DeAngelis. Apel chose the inside lane for the restart and Dennis Prunty took to the high side and as the green flag appeared, Apel was able to maintain the lead while Prunty slid back in line behind him. The top five ran nose to tail for the next several laps with Dennis Prunty glued to Apel’s rear bumper just ahead of DeAngelis in third. After several massages to Apel’s rear bumper, Prunty delivered a slightly harder shot exiting turn four with four laps to go and moved alongside as Apel’s car skidded up a groove. The pair raced side by side for the next two laps with DeAngelis directly behind them in third before Prunty prevailed from the inside. Apel was able to get back in line ahead of DeAngelis to keep second and although he gave a strong effort, he could not catch the leader as Prunty drove under the checkered flag for the win. Apel finished a close second directly followed by DeAngelis in third while Dale Prunty crossed the finish line in fourth. Tim Lampman finished a solid fifth while Conrad Morgan rebounded from his earlier spin to finish sixth. James Swan finished in seventh and Chris Blawat was eighth. Rob Braun and Nick Wagner completed the top ten finishers.